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Plan Commissioner Training at the Village of Forest Park

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

The Village of Forest Park hosted a Plan Commission training workshop on June 18, 2018. The session was co-sponsored by APA-IL and DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute. Andy Cross, AICP and Laurie Marston, FAICP were the trainers for the chapter’s 87th training workshop.

The thirteen people who attended the meeting included six members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, four members of the Plan Commission, the Director of Public Health and Safety, the Village Attorney. Also attending and offering helpful comments was the Village’s Community Development consultant, Courtney Kashima, AICP. Courtney is one of APA-IL's past presidents.

At the conclusion of the session, the commissioners were asked to complete the anonymous evaluation form. Among the most helpful topics they listed were: zoning, examples, variations and how to interpret the comprehensive plan, procedure and control of meetings, managing meeting flow, and the responsibilities of zoning board as it relates to plan commission.

The group asked many questions, including:

  • Should staff provide a formal written recommendation to approve or deny a specific case?

  • Are there circumstances when it is appropriate to grant a variation versus a rezoning?

  • When the hearing starts, should the chair set a time limit for people who wish to speak?

  • After the applicant has presented their project, should the public or commissioners ask questions first?

  • Can we ask a developer whether the units will be for lease or for sale?

  • May a commissioner request to be present at the inspectors’ final walk through of a project?

Want to know how to get training for your officials? Visit the Plan Commissioner Training website and contact the APA-IL Planning Officials Development Officer, Michael Blue, FAICP at



The Forest Park Review reported on this June 18th training session! Click here to read all about it!


Plan Commissioner Training Offered at the 2018 APA-IL State Conference!

It's back! Plan commissioners work hard reading packets, reviewing cases, conducting public hearings, and considering policy matters; but they rarely get the chance to sit back and look at the big picture of what they do and the significance it has to the communities in which they live. That will be the focus of this all-day track on September 27, 2018. All planning officials, boards, and commissions are welcome. Professional planners are welcome to attend both the morning and afternoon sessions. Planners will likely find the afternoon session, which includes a mock hearing and best practices for public hearings, the most useful.

For more information please visit the 2018 State Conference website.


(photos by Laurie Marston, FAICP)

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